December 19, 2008

getting started in microstakes NLHE

Writing from my own experience this is the route I advise….

Watch some TV poker shows, and read a book, assuming you don't know NLHE (no limit Hold'em).

Start up an account with an online site. DO NOT DEPOSIT ANY MONEY.

Play their play money sitngos. Although this is never the same as playing for money, there is still an element of skill and you will learn the game. Don't bother with their ring (or cash) games however, these are a total waste of time.

Once you are confident you have a feel for the game and you still like it, time to invest some money on the site.

Minimum Maximum bankroll $100 (anything less cannot take variance and initial failure, anything more becomes a waste, if you realise its not for you. Re-depositing is a sobering procedure which helps you to re-evaluate if you are ready to continue gambling)
Avoid cash games, they can destroy you in one session if you are inexperienced.
Play $5.50 sitngos (where 0.50 is paid in rake). Why sitngos?

You see up to 120 hands per sitngo
You only lose a set amount
They are somewhat formulaic
They have a 30% payout structure

Read the forums about simple strategy for this type of poker (its everywhere so no repeat here) and be prepared to lose as well as win. Choose a site where the blind structure is not a luckfest. (Titan Poker, PartyPoker, Pitbull are awful for example, with low skill/high luck). Initially therefore I recommend:

Fulltilt (2nd best blind structure, 2nd best software, 2nd best traffice)
Ultimate bet (best blind structure, 3rd best software, 3rd best traffic)
Pokerstars (3rd best blind structure, best software, best traffic)

In that order.

Play 4-500 games. If you are a winning player after that time, you have what it takes in tournament poker. Then re-evaluate, as you are ready to move into cash poker, where the next level of skill resides.

Please note I advocate no cash game play without around 30k hands of sitngo experience, if you want to be successful at cash poker.

Next post I try to talk about my own route and style as described above.

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